Goat Cheese and Chive Soufflé
Perfect for a special weekend brunch or luncheon, this creamy soufflé is lovely accompanied with a green salad. The soufflé may be assembled up to an hour in advance, but once it is baked, it should be served promptly, as it deflates quickly. It is fine to let your guests wait for the soufflé, but do not let the soufflé wait for anyone.
Making a soufflé collar will help ensure that your soufflé rises well above the rim. To make a collar for a large soufflé dish, cut a strip of parchment paper that is wide enough to stand 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) above the rim of the dish when folded in half, and long enough to wrap around the dish with a slight overlap. For individual soufflé dishes, cut the strips to about 5 inches (13 cm) wide by about 12 inches (30 cm) long. Fold the parchment in half and tuck one end into the other. Place around the dish and tighten. Secure the parchment by tying it with a piece of kitchen string.
- 3 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) fresh goat cheese or natural cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sour cream
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
- 3 Tbs. minced fresh chives
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C). Butter a 1 1/2-qt (1.5-l) soufflé dish or six 1-cup (8–fl. oz./250–ml) ramekins and dust the bottom and sides with Parmesan cheese.
If mixing by hand, in a large bowl, using a whisk, cream the goat cheese until light. Beat in the sour cream, egg yolks, mustard, salt, nutmeg, white pepper and chives until combined. In another large, clean bowl, whisk together the egg whites and cream of tartar with a balloon whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form.
If using a mixer, in a large bowl, using a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater or a hand mixer, cream the goat cheese on medium-high speed until light. Beat in the sour cream, egg yolks, mustard, salt, nutmeg, white pepper and chives until combined. In another large, clean bowl, using the stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment or the hand mixer, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.
Using a rubber spatula, fold one-fourth of the beaten egg whites into the cheese mixture to lighten it. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites just until no white streaks remain. Spoon into the prepared dish(es) and smooth the top. Sprinkle the top(s) with the 3 Tbs. Parmesan cheese.
Bake the soufflé(s) until set and puffed and the center still jiggles when the dish is shaken, 20 to 25 minutes for a large soufflé or 8 to 10 minutes for the individual soufflés. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking (Weldon Owen, 2008).